Sunday, August 22, 2021

A 1934 'Either...Or'

In the David Ben-Gurion Archives, you can find a summary of a conversation between two Arabs from Mandate Palestine with Israel Cohen, general secretary of the World Zionist Organization headquarted in Great Britain, which took place in London in June 1934.

As you can see, the only choice the Arab spokesman offered was that between the Balfour Declaration or Arab friendship:


Who was that Totah who thought so highly of "Arab friendship" for the Jews rather than a statement of diplomatic intent?

Khalil Totah was an Arab-American Quaker Educator and Palestinian Nationalist Crusader who married an American Quaker and Amy Smith writes:

Dr. Khalil Totah belonged to a generation of Syrians who grew up with an appreciation for the “modern” spirit that was sweeping the world...Totah and his fellow intellectuals were not so much inspired by [US President Woodrow[ Wilson’s words, but rather they viewed them as support of a pre-existing sentiment. Greater Syrians had been developing ideas of freedom and democracy since their cultural and intellectual renaissance in the mid-19th century... Dr. Khalil Totah provides one small piece of a larger transformation in Syria. His writings show the evolution of Arab nationalism in Palestine during a transformative era.

Smith's dissertation further informs, p. 134, that as regards that 1934 trip:

The Friends’ Committee requested that in 1934 Totah travel with an American Quaker from Lebanon, Daniel Oliver, to an annual Friends Meeting in London. He was to meet with British Quakers and plead the case for Palestine. The Quaker organization also arranged for him to meet with government officials to discuss “The Question of Palestine.” 

From the rest of Cohen's report, we can see that as Arab propaganda then, so today:


 

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2 comments:

chandasmita das said...

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Tilman Tarach said...
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